They Told Me I Would Be A Priest

One time, I was standing in a line in my kindergarten classroom. I don’t remember why. I do remember that I said the word “pussycat” and some girl told on me and I wasn’t sure what I’d said wrong. Oh, NOW I get it! Innocence probably never had a chance.

There was a bully who used to hide my shoes on top of a cabinet I couldn’t reach. I remember his name was Michael and he was far too tall for Tonka trucks. I’m guessing the alphabet wasn’t his strong suit.  I wonder if he ever learned to stop stealing shoes, because he was the only one who wasn’t invited to Nick’s birthday party.  And Nick’s birthday party, mind you, was at at Chuck E Cheese.

I got in trouble for dancing during the Pledge of Allegiance once. I don’t know why I did it. I’m just glad I didn’t do it during a Super Bowl.  Sometimes, you just gotta get down.  Sometimes, it’s at the expense of honoring our nation, because you’re six years old and what could you possibly be pledging allegiance to except some vague notion of a nation that gave proof through the night that The Flintstones were still there?

We used to get some sort of currency every Friday based on how well we’d behaved and how we’d performed on spelling and reading tests. They came in $100 increments. A Tootsie Roll was $100, a cheap framed plastic picture of Jesus was $500. That was the market established by Christian Pre-K. I bought the Jesus picture once instead of candy because I thought it would help my chances of booking my flight to heaven. I hope, at the end of all things, that act remains remembered.

They told me I would be a priest. That’s what they voted me, the Oaklandon Christian Church graduating kindergarten class of 1994: most likely to be a priest. Somewhere I fell short of that prophecy. I look alright in black but I don’t work Sundays. No sir.  Also I’m thinking my multitheological existential cooperation model might have gotten in the way of a few Bible tales.  We can all aspire to the same goodness and common betterment of mankind, but of course I can only say that if it’s the version sold in our shop.  You don’t know what you’re getting anywhere else.  Besides eternal damnation!


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